HTC Lays Off 1,500 Employees In Latest Money Saving Reorganization Attempt
The 1,500 affected employees are from HTC’s manufacturing operations in Taiwan. As per Taiwanese law, HTC has submitted a layoff plan to the Taoyuan Department of Labor. The layoffs should be completed by the end of September 2018. HTC has vowed to provide assistance to the laid off workers in finding new jobs.
Xincheng International Investment Consultant analyst Chang Chih-cheng remarked, “The layoff announcement was further evidence that HTC remains under pressure from escalating competition in the global smartphone market, where it has lost global share.”
HTC has already experienced several reorganizations this past year. In January, Google finalized its acquisition the “Powered by HTC” R&D division or the team that worked on the Pixel devices. The $1.1 billion USD deal not only included 2,000 HTC R&D team members, but a non-exclusive license to use HTC's intellectual property. HTC noted that it would continue to develop its own smartphones and focus on its VR technology.
Chialin Chang, the President of HTC’s Smartphone and Connected Devices Business, resigned shortly after Google’s acquisition. Chang resigned to pursue a “personal career plan” and has not yet been replaced. In late February the company also decided to combine their VR and mobile divisions.
HTC reported 13.33 billion TWD ($437 million USD) in consolidated sales for January-May 2018. This was 43.9% less than in 2017. HTC did manage to break a 11-month streak of net loss, but this was primarily due to Google’s acquisition of most of its smartphone division. HTC hopes that the U12+ Flagship Phone and HTC Vive Pro VR will increase overall profits and turn its luck around. Many are doubtful that HTC will be so fortunate, particularly given the rather high price tag for the Vive Pro. Only the future will tell whether HTC’s latest products and reorganizations will be enough to bolster the company's long-term prospects.